Miracle in Gujarat
Can Modi Save India?
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  • You write: “In some important areas like literacy Gujarat lags far behind other Indian states.” Not exactly. According to official statistics, Gujarat ranks 13th out of 28 Indian states in terms of literacy. Although well behind Kerala, Goa, and several small states of the far northeast (such as Mizoram), Gujarat’s literacy figures are close to those of other large, economically progressive states, such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, and are far above those of impoverished Bihar and UP. Gujarat also outscores Marxist-dominated West Bengal in regard to literacy.

    • ljgude

      Thanks for that insight.

  • TommyTwo

    If my memory serves, the last time the BJP was in power, the Indian economy boomed. However, the gains were not uniformly distributed (shockingly enough), and so the Indian electorate in its great wisdom decided to take growth as a given and booted out the BJP in favor of Congress, which would spread the wealth. I am disappointed that Indians now seem to have abandoned their convictions and are considering returning the BJP to power. I wonder what changed…

    • El Gringo

      Even during India’s recent economic downturn the urban middle class has continued to grow and prosper. However, over 70% of India’s population remains rural and relatively poor. This creates an interesting political incentive to continue economic growth but only so that more wealth may be extracted from the rich urban centers and transferred via subsidies to the rural poor who make up the vast majority of the electorate.

  • free_agent

    You write, ““Everything that’s being done in the name of development excludes the
    poor,” a doctor in Ahmedabad told Mallet. The inhabitants of Gujarat’s
    urban slums are “living in hell.”

    One does wonder if this is the nature of development, though. All bursts of rapid development that I know of are highly uneven, and seem to funnel the bulk of the economic improvement to a relatively small set of people who have dramatically revamped their lives. Certainly the industrialization of the late 1800s in the US was remarkably unbalanced and brought a lot of social tension.

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